When you mention the city of Beijing to most people, the first thing they think of is millions of people pushing through the subways of the city or masses of Beijingers riding their bikes through pollution filled streets.  They might think of Tiananmen Square or the Great Wall or some of the more touristy spots. I have certainly witnessed my fair share of pushing on Subway Line 10 during rush hour and it is not fun!  For me, the masses of people and pollution were particularly hard after having lived in Costa Rica.  But there is another side of Beijing that most people don’t see; not even expats living in Beijing.

And while people laugh because it takes me 45-50 minutes to commute to work each day by car, I have found my perfect little corner of Beijing.  I live in Fangshan District, which is southwest of the city center.  I wake up to a view of the mountains, which I so desperately missed from Costa Rica.  I live on a quiet, tree-lined street where people say hello in the morning as they walk their dogs or go for a morning jog. I go to the farmer’s market each Saturday and then enjoy a cup of tea or coffee sitting by the small lake near the house. If I want to go hiking, and I probably will this weekend, I can go to the nearby nature parks or temples.  Will Fangshan be where I permanently settle? No, but it’s a nice place to be while I find my settling spot.Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 7.27.10 AM.png

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As opposed to…This is a quiet, orderly suburban station…Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 7.37.02 AM.png